Instruct Biennial Meeting

20th-22nd May 2015

Florence, Italy

Day 1: 20th May 2015

Hover over the dots to view details on the speaker and talk title
  • 9:00: Patrick Cramer

    Integrated structural biology of gene transcription

  • 9:30: Marc Baldus

    Structural studies of membrane-embedded protein machines by NMR: From lipid bilayers to cells

  • 10:00: Anastassis Perrakis

    Knowing when to cross the mitotic checkpoint

  • 11:00: Chiara Zucchelli

    Sp140 and its interaction with chromatin

  • 11:30: Teresa Carlomagno

    RNA-protein complexes in RNA metabolism: an integrative structural biology approach

  • 12:00: Stephen Cusack (Ivano Bertini Award)

    The structure of the influenza virus replication machine: a long time coming but worth waiting for!

  • 14:00: Matthew Bottomley

    Structural Vaccinology

  • 14:30: Sriram Subramaniam

    Cryo-electron microscopy comes of age: Applications to molecular pharmacology

  • 15:00: Eddy Arnold

    HIV-1 reverse transcriptase structure and function: drugs by design and recent innovations

  • 16:00: Nehar Mortuza

    TACC3-XAMP215 interaction reveals an asymmetric association promoting spindle microtubule elongation

  • 16:30: Helena Käck

    Impact of structural information in drug discovery

Structural biology towards Cellular Biology: Integrating Biology

Structural Biology and Health: Current Challenges

Day 2: 21st May 2015

Hover over the dots to view details on the speaker and talk title
  • 9:00: Christos Savva

    High resolution Cryo-EM studies at the MRC-LMB: Local setup and examples

  • 9:30: Christiane Ritter

    Structure determination of functional self-replicating protein filaments by solid-state NMR spectroscopy

  • 10:00: Anne-Claude Gavin

    Lipid-protein interactions

  • 11:00: Areej Abuhammad

    “From one seed a whole handful”: homologous proteins as seeds in crystallisation

  • 11:30: Jan Steyaert

    Nanobody-enabled fragment screening on active-state constrained GPCRs

  • 12:00: Imre Berger

    Synthetic biology meets Structural Biology: New perspectives and opportunities

  • 14:00: Dave Stuart

    First research outcomes from Instruct access – proof of principle and future goals

  • 14:30: Esko Oksanen

    Structural Biology at the European Spallation Source

  • 15:30: Giovanni Migliaccio

    EATRIS model for translational medicine and innovation in the ERA

  • 16:00: John Womersley

    Structural Biology Infrastructure provision within ESFRI

  • 16:30: Eero Vuorio

    Instruct and the other BMS ESFRI Infrastructures in the changing European landscape of Research Infrastructures

Emerging Technologies in Integrative Structural Biology

The joint activities and impact of European Biomedical Infrastructures

Biennial Meeting Files

Showcasing Integrative Structural Biology

The 2015 Instruct Biennial Conference was, by all accounts, a great success. A raft of world leading speakers presented exciting new advances in research using various structural approaches to an audience of almost 200.

Hosted by CERM at the magnificent Convitto della Calza in Florence, Italy, a highlight was the first Ivano Bertini Award to Stephen Cusack FRS for his work on large scale protein-RNA complexes. The award was particularly poignant in commemorating Ivano, who set up NMR in Florence and went on to establish CERM and CIRMMP, both of which are now world-leading centres in advanced NMR methods.

The successes of Instruct in delivering access to the researcher community was demonstrated by the posters showing results from access visits through Instruct, many of which have now been published. In fact, the number of publications acknowledging Instruct (now more that 160 peer reviewed papers) prompted regular comment on this success metric for providing impact through Instruct activities. More posters showed the fruit of some of the R&D Pilot awards which have likewise been very successful.

The overall impression of the meeting was summed up by Prof Markus Gruetter who gave his summary of the conference and remarked on the unprecedented progress in the last year – not only in delivering access and other activities to the European research community, but in maturing into a well organised, enthusiastic and increasingly well used research infrastructure. With an ERIC application in progress, Instruct is well on the way to becoming a major provider of structural biology access in Europe, and is now looking beyond the European borders to new opportunities.

The 3rd Instruct Biennial will take place in Brno, Czech Republic in 2017.

Organising Committee

Day 1 - 20th May

Session 1 "Structural biology towards Cellular Biology: Integrating Biology"


(Chair: Lucia Banci and David Stuart)

09:00-09:25Patrick Cramer
Max Planck Institute Göttingen
09:30-09:55Marc Baldus
Utrecht University
10:00-10:25Anastassis Perrakis
NKI Netherlands
11:00-11:25Chiara Zucchelli
S. Raffaele Scientific Institute
11:30-11:55Teresa Carlomagno
EMBL Heidelberg
12:00-12:10Presentation of the Ivano Bertini award by Instruct and Bruker
12:10-12:35Ivano Bertini Award Talk: Stephen Cusack
EMBL Grenoble

Session 2 "Structural Biology and Health: Current Challenges"


(Chair: Maria Arménia Carrondo and Gunter Schneider)

14:00-14:25Matthew Bottomley
14:30-14:55Sriram Subramaniam
15:00-15:25Eddy Arnold
16:00-16:25Nehar Mortuza
University of Copenhagen
16:30-16:55Helena Käck
Poster session & Drinks

Poster session and drinks


Instruct Centres, studentships and selected attendees will exhibit within the poster session.

Day 2 - 21st May

Session 3 "Emerging Technologies in Integrative Structural Biology"


(Chair: Jose Maria Carazo and Eva Pebay-Peyroula)

09:00-09:25Christos Savva
09:30-09:55Christiane Ritter
10:00-10:25Anne-Claude Gavin
11:00-11:25Areej Abuhammad
11:30-11:55Jan Steyaert
12:00-12:25Imre Berger

Session 4 "The joint activities and impact of European Biomedical Infrastructures"


(Chairs: Eero Vuorio and Alberto Podjarny)

14:00-14:25Dave Stuart
14:30-14:55Esko Oksanen
15:30-15:55Giovanni Migliaccio
16:00-16:25John Womersley
16:30-16:55Eero Vuorio
Biocenter Finland and BBMRI

Close of scientific meeting

Day 3 - 22nd May

Instruct Internal Executive Meeting


Instruct Internal Council Meeting


Ivano Bertini Award

The Ivano Bertini Award recognises a significant achievement in frontier research that utilises an integrative structural biology approach. The first recipient of the award is Stephen Cusack FRS, Head of EMBL Outstation in Grenoble. His work on the structure of protein-RNA complexes and proteins involved in host-pathogen responses is groundbreaking and exemplifies the power of using integrated technology approaches in research. The Award is the first commemorating Ivano Bertini who developed powerful new methods in NMR and built up a world class Centre for Magnetic Resonance (CERM) in Florence. CERM was in the first group of major Centres in structural biology to form the Core structure of Instruct.


The Award of €15,000 is endowed by Bruker BioSpin which, together with Ivano, developed NMR instrumentation to broaden its application and increase measurement sensitivity.

Ivano Bertini

Ivano Bertini was one of a kind. You could always tell when he was near, as his booming voice made the walls tremble and everyone within them take notice. He loved life and his friends with a passion that is rarely seen. Finding he had lung cancer, he fought bravely but passed away on 7 July of this year. In his scientific life, he took biological inorganic chemistry to new heights with the development of powerful new NMR methods to study paramagnetic metalloproteins. And, equally importantly to us and to many others, he and his beautiful wife, Renata, were lovable, caring and fiercely loyal friends.

Ivano will long be remembered for building a world-class laboratory. When starting out in 1989, he had only two NMR spectrometers (200 and 600 MHz), housed in a former church in central Florence that featured sixteenth-century Renaissance frescos on walls with vaulted ceilings. By 1999, there was no room for new spectrometers, so he founded the Center for Magnetic Resonance (CERM; and moved to become the first occupant of the new science campus of the University of Florence. (The CERM was recognized as a center of excellence by the university in 2003.) Today, in a building of about 1,600 square meters, scientists have access to an impressive collection of NMR instruments for solution and solid-state NMR experiments guided by a team of outstanding scientists. A man with seemingly infinite energy, Ivano founded two biotech companies, served as president of the Italian Chemical Society and cofounded the European network on NMR facilities for bio-NMR. His lab has been funded by the European Commission as an NMR infrastructure site since 1994 and as a computational 'e-infrastructure' site since 2007. In 2008, CERM became one of only seven core labs of Instruct.

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 19, 868–869 (2012)

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